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What Should I Look For In An HVAC Warranty? [Checklist]

HVAC warranties are incredibly important when you are considering purchasing a new system. Often, these warranties will decrease your future out-of-pocket expenses if the system ever needs repair or replacement. We’ve compiled the most important factors to consider in a warranty. Don’t miss these key areas when purchasing a new HVAC system to ensure that you get the most out of your warranty. Take a look at our checklist below to learn more.

Checklist of the various areas to consider when purchasing a new HVAC system.

 

Shopping for an energy efficient HVAC system is a large investment in your home. As building envelopes become tighter and insulation improves the HVAC system that your home required 20 years ago might not fulfill the same needs today. This is especially true if your house received several energy-saving improvements. Asking the right questions about the products you are considering gives you the information that you need to make an educated decision about the best HVAC system for your home, needs, and budget.

 

Energy Guide HVAC Energy Savings

What to Ask When Shopping for an Energy Efficient HVAC System

What is the SEER number and HSPF rating?

The Seasonal Energy Efficient Ratio (SEER) on a cooling unit tells you how efficient it is. The Heating Season Performance Factor (HFSP) tells you about the efficiency of a heat pump. Systems with an ENERGY STAR label have a SEER of at least 14.5 and an HSPF of at least 8.2 (the higher the number, the greater the efficiency).

What HVAC size do I need?

An energy efficient HVAC will actually waste energy if it is too big or too small. Instead of just using the size of an existing system, a contractor should also take into account additions and energy-saving upgrades that you’ve invested in your home. System size also matters if you plan to add multiple heating and cooling zones in your home.

What is the best type of HVAC unit for my home?

Heating and cooling units are available as natural gas-powered systems, all-electric units, heat pumps, combination systems, ductless mini splits, and radiant heat systems. Review your comfort standards and heating and cooling needs with a licensed HVAC contractor to learn about the advantages and disadvantages regarding the different types of HVAC units available for your home.

Can you provide me with a free, no-obligation quote?

A good HVAC contractor provides an accurate estimate for an HVAC system, its installation, labor costs, and the options available in writing. This estimate should include the price of parts, energy efficiency-related information and warranty specifications.

What rebates and tax breaks are available for energy-saving HVAC systems?

Investigate local, state, and federal tax laws and energy departments to learn if a system is available for a rebate or tax incentive. In addition, see which manufacturers are offering their own rebates to maximize your savings. A good HVAC contractor will have this information for you.

What are the lifetime operating costs?

When shopping for an HVAC system, look beyond the price and installation costs. Estimate the annual energy costs for your area. Learn how much it costs to maintain the system and if it needs specialized parts that might cost more than others.

What type of air filters does the HVAC unit use?

Some types of HVAC units use specific filters, while others may accommodate different types, such as disposable, washable, or HEPA filters. Learn how often you need to replace or clean the filters, too.

Do I need to replace all of the HVAC equipment?

For an HVAC system to work optimally, it must match the ductwork. Otherwise, you’ll experience energy losses. This could mean finding a heating and cooling system that matches the equipment in your home or replacing the equipment so it matches the system you choose. You may also need a new thermostat.

What does the warranty cover and how long does the coverage last?

Not all warranties are the same. Some offer longer terms and cover different aspects of the HVAC unit. When investigating warranties, also remember to educate yourself on what actions will void them.

Does the HVAC unit have moisture control elements?

A home that’s too dry might make you feel uncomfortable, prolong the life of certain viruses, and can cause wood floors and furniture to crack from the lack of moisture. Too much humidity leads to mold and bacterial growth and can make a space feel too stuffy. Moisture control elements in an HVAC unit keep you comfortable and healthy while preventing unnecessary damage to your belongings.

Shopping for an energy efficient HVAC does not have to be confusing or overwhelming. When you work with a reputable contractor, like AAA, you’ll received personalized assistance for finding the best energy-efficient products for your home and needs. Contact AAA today to schedule a free consultation.

Photo by p.Gordon via CC License 

hvac warrantyA new heating and cooling system is a large investment in your home. As you compare different units, pay as much attention to the warranties as you would the costs and different features. If something goes wrong within a few weeks or a few years after, a good HVAC warranty will help lower the out-of-pocket repair expenses and minimize your frustration during a heating or cooling crisis. Use our checklist to help you determine the things that your HVAC warranty should cover, so that you aren’t left with major expenses down the road.

HVAC Warranty Guide

  1. Warranty term: A warranty’s term refers to its duration. Good HVAC manufacturers stand behind their products for more than a couple years, which is important with systems that are supposed to last up to 20 years or longer. Because an HVAC repair can be costly, it is wise to look for warranties that have the longest terms. Keep in mind: units with lifetime warranties may not cover the cost of labor, or may only cover labor-related expenses during the first year.
  2. HVAC parts warranties: Warranties sometimes have varying timeframes for different aspects of an HVAC unit, such as an air conditioning compressor, furnace heat exchanger, parts and labor. A heat exchanger, for example, might have a 20-year warranty, while other parts might have a 10-year warranty. As you work with a contractor, learn if the contracting company or manufacturer has a warranty-processing fee. This is a fee that some charge to handle the warranty-related paperwork even when the replacement parts are covered.
  3. Extended HVAC warranty: Manufacturers and dealers often offer extended warranties that add 5 to 10 years to parts or labor coverage. Be cautious if a sales representative seems pushy about purchasing this type of warranty, as it may be indicative of the system’s quality. In addition, learn all the details related to the extended warranty, such as:
    1. When the warranty service is available
    2. How long you’ll have to wait for a technician to fix the HVAC system, especially during the busiest times of year
    3. The amount of time the contractor has been in business; it would be a shame to purchase an extended warranty from a contractor that goes out of business before the warranty expires
  4. How to void the warranty: A simple, innocent mistake could void an entire warranty. Such mistakes include:
    1. Not hiring a certified licensed contractor to install the unit or make repairs (make sure the contractor provides you with the paperwork that provides proof of the installation service)
    2. Not registering the HVAC system and the warranty with the manufacturer in the required amount of time
    3. Not using approved replacement parts
    4. Failing to schedule annual professional maintenance
    5. Failing to provide proof of maintenance services (e.g., not keeping service receipts and related paperwork)
  5. Installation warranty: In addition to a manufacturer standing behind its products, an HVAC contractor should stand behind the services it offers. This means that in addition to providing you with the manufacturer’s warranty, the contractor offers protection in the event that an HVAC unit receives accidental damage during the installation process or problems develop later because of an installation-related issue. A good contractor provides a written 100 percent money-back guarantee on its installation work. Contractors that go the extra mile also guarantee the service work that they provide so you don’t have to pay for a technician’s mistake.

An HVAC warranty should give you peace of mind and assurance that a manufacturer has your back if something goes wrong with the appliance. Never hesitate to take your time to comb through the fine details of a warranty and ask questions if something doesn’t make sense. A reputable HVAC contractor will insist that you do. Take a look at our checklist on HVAC warranties to learn more. It will provide you with the information you need to know prior to purchasing a new HVAC system.